WCED prepares learners for careers in agriculture
11 June 2021
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is expanding access to agricultural subjects as part of its focus on STEAMAC (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Agriculture and Coding).
This priority focus is in line with the province’s economic needs and will be achieved through the establishment of workshops for agricultural subjects and the provision of tools, machines and equipment to schools that offer agricultural subjects.
Eleven additional schools in the province are offering agricultural subjects from this year bringing the total number of schools in the province with this offering to 29.
Construction of Agricultural Technology workshops at Charlie Hofmeyr High School, Groendal Secondary School, Hexvallei High School, Kayamandi Secondary School, Skurweberg Secondary School and Kraaifontein High School are underway.
The schools will also be provided with the required tools, machines and equipment. Specialised agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation systems, broiler units, handling kraals for animals, Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID), aquaponic systems and greenhouses will also be made available to schools.
The learners can do their Practical Assessment Tasks (PATs) and practicals for Agricultural Management Practices, Agricultural Technology and Agricultural Sciences in facilities that are provided on the school premises. Learners are also exposed to the production of farm animals at the school. Taking ownership, rearing and caring for animals are integral to the establishment of a learner’s love for agriculture. The WCED also provide these schools with two agricultural labourers and a farm foreman to run the production enterprises on a daily basis at the school.
Max Michau, Principal of Charlie Hofmeyr High School, said the new Agricultural Technology classroom at the school is scheduled to be ready at the beginning of the third term. During the first semester, learners were exposed to the theoretical component of the subject and will be able to get practical experience when the classroom is in use.
He added that the learners are enjoying Agricultural Technology. The WCED approved the school’s application to introduce Agricultural Management as a subject in Grade 10 next year. For this subject, the school plans to make use of the farming community in the area and discussions with various role players are underway.
Michau said the school was grateful for the financial contribution from the WCED to make the phasing in of the two agricultural subjects possible.